Diminishing sales both in the US and abroad is forcing Nissan to rethink its current lineup. Unlike its major rivals Toyota and Honda, Nissan doesn’t have an image of being a ‘green company’ and it’s now hoping to change all that with the release of its first clean diesel car in the States and possibly an all-new minicar.

According to the Taipei Times Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn admitted that executives are “seriously” considering launching a minicar in the US priced below $10,000. Ghosn made the announcement while speaking at the Council on Foreign Relations, saying “we are looking at it seriously," adding that he wouldn’t be surprised to see Chinese and Indian manufacturers enter the market with their own cut-priced offerings.

The move could trigger a price war that could seriously threaten America’s carmakers, already pushed to the edge by international competitors. General Motors is aware of the impending problem and recently made some inroads in developing a range of low-cost cars. Last month it unveiled the Chevrolet Spark in India priced from around $7,300.

Pictured above is the Nissan Azeal concept that debuted at the Detroit Auto Show back in 2005. Nissan’s budget model would most likely be an economical small hatch styled similarly to Japan’s popular and affordable ‘Kei’ cars.